Patient Spotlight – Ringo’s New Drumsticks!

Ringo is a Labrador with a new hip replacement 

 

Meet Ringo, a five-year-old happy-go-lucky Labrador Retriever. Ringo, like a lot of large breed dogs, was born with abnormal hips or a condition called Hip Dysplasia. Hip dysplasia worsens during the rapid growth phase of puppies and refers to the poor fit of the “ball and socket” nature of the hip. Ringo, like other dogs with hip dysplasia, did not have a ball and socket that fit together smoothly. Instead the socket (acetabulum) is flattened and the ball is not held tightly in place, which allows for more movement or slipping in the hip joint. Over time all of the movement in the hip joint results in the development of painful arthritis.

 

           X-Ray of Normal Hip  Normal Hip

X-Ray of dog with hips dysplasia  Early Hip Dysplasia

Ringo went to see Dr. Steve Harry at Dupont Veterinary Clinic for lameness and pain in his hips. Ringo’s hip dysplasia was treated over a prolonged period of time; however, his arthritis and pain continued to worsen. Dr. Harry along with Ringo’s owners decided to refer him to a specialist where he would be evaluated for a total hip replacement. In July of this year Ringo was considered a candidate and was approved for a total hip replacement. Ringo stayed over night at the specialty hospital and underwent the procedure the following day.

 

X-ray of a dog with severe hip dysplasia

Ringo’s Before Surgery X-ray

During the procedure the “socket” (or acetabulum) of the hip is deepened and replaced with a prosthetic socket and a prosthetic “ball” is inserted in order to replace the existing hip joint. The goal of the surgery is to give Ringo a pain-free, normal functioning hip. Even though Ringo has hip dysplasia affecting both the left and right hip joint only the right side was given a total hip replacement. Eighty percent of patients with arthritis in both hips only require surgery on one side in order for them to live a comfortable life. The decision of which hip to replace is dependent on which hip is more painful or has a greater limit in mobility.

 

X-ray of a dog's pelvis after a hip replacement

Close-Up X-ray of a hip replacement

Ringo’s After Surgery X-rays

Ringo is doing exceedingly well after his surgery! He is living a much more comfortable and happy life at home with his brother, Wyatt, where they are back to their normal antics.  Check out his progress in this video!!

“Ringo” Enjoying Life After His Hip Replacement

If you are concerned about your pet possibly having hip dysplasia or believe they may be a candidate for a total hip replacement, contact your veterinarian at Dupont Veterinary Clinic for more information.  We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic strive to provide clients with the best health care at the forefront of veterinary medicine.

If you are interested in learning more about the total hip replacement surgery, click the following link to watch an animated overview of the technique.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTLhcLxT-0o

By Dr. Ashley Dawes

Patient Spotlight – Ringo’s New Drumsticks!

Ringo is a Labrador with a new hip replacement 

 

Meet Ringo, a five-year-old happy-go-lucky Labrador Retriever. Ringo, like a lot of large breed dogs, was born with abnormal hips or a condition called Hip Dysplasia. Hip dysplasia worsens during the rapid growth phase of puppies and refers to the poor fit of the “ball and socket” nature of the hip. Ringo, like other dogs with hip dysplasia, did not have a ball and socket that fit together smoothly. Instead the socket (acetabulum) is flattened and the ball is not held tightly in place, which allows for more movement or slipping in the hip joint. Over time all of the movement in the hip joint results in the development of painful arthritis.

 

           X-Ray of Normal Hip  Normal Hip

X-Ray of dog with hips dysplasia  Early Hip Dysplasia

Ringo went to see Dr. Steve Harry at Dupont Veterinary Clinic for lameness and pain in his hips. Ringo’s hip dysplasia was treated over a prolonged period of time; however, his arthritis and pain continued to worsen. Dr. Harry along with Ringo’s owners decided to refer him to a specialist where he would be evaluated for a total hip replacement. In July of this year Ringo was considered a candidate and was approved for a total hip replacement. Ringo stayed over night at the specialty hospital and underwent the procedure the following day.

 

X-ray of a dog with severe hip dysplasia

Ringo’s Before Surgery X-ray

During the procedure the “socket” (or acetabulum) of the hip is deepened and replaced with a prosthetic socket and a prosthetic “ball” is inserted in order to replace the existing hip joint. The goal of the surgery is to give Ringo a pain-free, normal functioning hip. Even though Ringo has hip dysplasia affecting both the left and right hip joint only the right side was given a total hip replacement. Eighty percent of patients with arthritis in both hips only require surgery on one side in order for them to live a comfortable life. The decision of which hip to replace is dependent on which hip is more painful or has a greater limit in mobility.

 

X-ray of a dog's pelvis after a hip replacement

Close-Up X-ray of a hip replacement

Ringo’s After Surgery X-rays

Ringo is doing exceedingly well after his surgery! He is living a much more comfortable and happy life at home with his brother, Wyatt, where they are back to their normal antics.  Check out his progress in this video!!

“Ringo” Enjoying Life After His Hip Replacement

If you are concerned about your pet possibly having hip dysplasia or believe they may be a candidate for a total hip replacement, contact your veterinarian at Dupont Veterinary Clinic for more information.  We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic strive to provide clients with the best health care at the forefront of veterinary medicine.

If you are interested in learning more about the total hip replacement surgery, click the following link to watch an animated overview of the technique.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTLhcLxT-0o

By Dr. Ashley Dawes

Halloween Horrors

Kitten wearing black Halloween hat

For a lot of people Halloween can be a fun and spooky time of year, but for pets it can be an absolute nightmare! We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic would like to recommend some precautions this Halloween with the following ten pet safety tips.

  1. No tricks or treats!

Halloween candy can be very enticing for pets, but can be severely toxic if ingested. Chocolate contains a compound called Theobromine as well as caffeine, which are both very toxic to pets. Chocolate toxicity can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, tremors, rapid breathing, and increased heart rate. The dark or baking chocolates are the worst kinds of chocolate, as they contain higher amount of these chemical compounds. Xylitol is an artificial sweetener that is found in candy that can be very toxic, even in small amounts. Xylitol can cause a sudden decrease in blood sugar, which can lead to staggering and seizures in pets.

White dog with nose in dish full of candy

  1. Keep Halloween pumpkins and decorative corn out of reach

Halloween and fall decorations are relatively non-toxic, but might seem like a tasty snack to pets. If ingested in large quantities these decorations can cause stomach upset or intestinal blockage.

Pug puppy chewing on gourd

  1. Keep lit candles in pumpkins away from pets

Pumpkins are very festive, but curious pets can burn themselves on lit candles or knock them over causing a fire.

Chihuahua standing with a carved pumpkin with Chihuahua face

  1. Keep decorations with wires or cords away from pets

Wires and electrical cords from Halloween lights or decorations can cause cuts, burns, or even life threatening electrical shock if chewed on by curious pets.

2 Lab puppies sitting on top of pumpkins

  1. Have a dress rehearsal before the big night

Try on pet costumes before Halloween to see how they react to wearing clothing and to make sure it fits comfortably. Some pets dislike costumes and for those, festive bandanas usually work well. Be sure that the costume does not restrict your pet’s movement, hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark, or meow.

Black and white cat laying and wearing black mask

  1. Keep nervous pets in a quiet room

Some pets become very nervous with the constant ringing of the doorbell and excited chatter from trick-or-treaters outside. For these pets it is best to keep them inside a quiet room in the house to rest until the festivities are over.

Puppy wearing Pooh shirt holding "Hunny" jar

  1. Make sure pets have proper identification

When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, it is easy for pets to escape and become lost. Be sure your pet is wearing a collar and tags and/or a microchip (with updated information!) so if they should escape they have a better chance of being returned to you.

  1. Do not leave pets outside, especially black cats

Halloween pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, or otherwise harm pets. While this act is inexcusable, it is very preventable by the owners. Black cats are especially at risk for cruelty-related incidents. Many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.

Black kitten sitting with pumpkins

  1. Keep glow sticks and glow jewelry away from pets

Although the product inside of glow sticks or jewelry is not likely toxic, it tastes terrible and can cause excessive salivation and odd behavior. Stomach upset can occur if they are ingested by pets, especially in large amounts.

  1. Familiar people can be frightening

Costumes and masks change how people look and smell to a pet, so even familiar people can become frightening. Even if you are just having a few friends over for a Halloween party, keep your pets away from the festivities in their safe room.

5 dogs dressed as ghosts holding plastic pumpkins in mouths

By Dr. Ashley Dawes

Common Veterinary Myths Debunked!

We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic want to make sure that owners are well educated so that they and their pets can live long, happy, and healthy lives together. Here is a list of the most common veterinary myths associated with pet health care.

  1. A cold, wet, dry, or warm nose indicates something about the pet’s health.

While there may be a few circumstances where a pet’s nose may be able to offer us useful information, most of the time they do not. Veterinarians do not rely on this information at all when taking your pet’s history or performing a physical exam.

Black lab puppy laying in grass

  1. A pet that eats grass outside is sick to his stomach.

While some dogs that have an upset stomach may feel an urge to eat or chew on unusual objects, a dog that eats grass is not always ill. Some dogs simply like to play with grass and chew on it for fun!

Retriever standing eating grass

  1. Eating ice cubes or snow kills dogs.

Dogs do not bloat from eating ice cubes, snow, or drinking ice water. In fact, giving them ice water or ice cubes can help cool them down on a hot day. Bloat is most commonly seen in deep-chested, large breed dogs and can be caused by genetics and/or food and gas build up in the stomach. Freezing toys or treats for dogs, especially puppies, to chew on can help to keep them occupied while you are away.

Golden Retriever laying on ground eating ice cubes

  1. A dog that scoots his hind end on the ground has worms.

Scooting is usually caused by an impacted or infected anal gland or localized skin infection. Pets can, on occasion, scoot on the ground if they have tapeworms because the segments that they shed on their hind end can be itchy or irritating.

Bulldog sitting looking at camera

  1. If my dog is inside a fenced-in yard, or mostly indoors, they cannot be exposed to mosquitoes and contract heartworm disease.

Mosquitoes can get inside fenced-in yards and can even get inside your house; therefore, even mostly indoor dogs need to be on heartworm prevention too. The same goes for fleas and flea prevention as they can hitch a ride on your clothes or shoes and be introduced into your house.

 

  1. Grain free or gluten free diets will fix my pet’s allergies.

While there are some dogs that may be diagnosed with a grain allergy, gluten allergies in dogs are exceedingly rare. Dogs can have food allergies or environmental allergies that cause them to have red, irritated, and itchy skin. If you think your pet is experiencing an allergy contact your veterinarian at Dupont Veterinary Clinic to have them examined.

Small puppy laying on ground with nose in large bowl of food

  1. My dog eats his own feces so he must have a nutritional deficiency.

This statement is simply not true as some dogs find this smelly snack to be a delicacy!

 

  1. Dipping your pet in motor oil can cure mange.

There are dips that can be given to bathe pets in to cure mange but motor oil is not one of them. In fact, motor oil can be really harsh on a pet’s skin and coat. If you think your pet has mange, please speak with your veterinarian about the best treatment for them.

 

  1. Pets need to lick their wounds in order for them to heal.

Licking a wound is great to clean off debris from a fresh injury, but continuous licking worsens inflammation and infection. This is why E-collars are used. It is especially important to keep pets away from a surgical incision as they can reopen the site and cause a serious infection.

Caricature of dog wearing E Collar

  1. Sibling pets do not need to be spayed or neutered because they will not mate.

Animals do not have any taboos against this and will mate if given the opportunity.

 

If you have questions about your pet’s health, give us a call at (260) 637-7676.  We are here because we want to help keep your pet healthy and foster the bond your family has with your pet.

By: Dr. Ashley Dawes

Patient Spotlight – Ruby The Guide Dog

Ruby is a Labrador Retriever used as a guide dog. Here she poses sitting in the grass.

Ruby is a 7-year-old black Labrador Retriever that has been trained from an early age to assist her owner that is visually impaired.  She was trained to be a guide dog in a program based out of Michigan called Leader Dogs for the Blind. This program not only trains guide dogs but also matches clients with a dog that best fits their lifestyle, travel pace, physical size, stamina, and other considerations. Ruby passed guide dog training with flying colors and has been helping her owner on a day to day basis ever since.

During the first year of training, guide dogs grow up in homes with volunteers of the organization where they are taught basic obedience and are exposed to the world. Guide dogs are then coached through four months of formal harness training with a professional guide dog mobility instructor. It is during these four months that they learn guide dog skills, such as stopping at curbs, avoiding obstacles, and finding doors. For example, Ruby was trained to stop at a street curb and wait for her handler to give the command to go forward. Ruby looks for approaching traffic and decides whether or not it is truly safe to cross the street. In this and numerous other ways guide dogs are able to assist their handlers throughout their day.

Ruby is in semi-retirement according to her handler; however, she still stays by her side each and every day. Ruby goes to work with her owner at an organization that was designed to help individuals with disabilities and mental illness so that they may live as independently as possible. Ruby may be at work but she is well known throughout the office and is quick to greet everyone each morning or even console workers if they are having a tough day. Ruby is a happy-go-lucky girl that is eager to please and ready for any task at hand.

At Dupont Veterinary Clinic we value the human-animal bond that enriches so many lives every day. We are proud of Ruby and guide dogs like her for the wonderful service that they provide for their handlers and we hope you feel the same!

Labrador Retriever guide dog relaxing on floor at Dupont Vet Clinic

Patient Spotlight – "Lucy" Hurricane Katrina Survivor

Brittany Spaniel Mix dog sitting on exam table with owners, Mr. and Mrs. Roethele standing behind

With the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina just behind us we wanted to take the time to acknowledge a patient at Dupont Veterinary Clinic that has survived one of America’s deadliest storms in history. Lucy, an 11-year-old red-headed, mixed breed and southern belle, was rescued from Hurricane Katrina by a group called Pet Jamboree in Alabama that transported her all the way to Fort Wayne, IN. Little did Lucy know, but that long car ride would change her life for the better. Once the van transporting numerous pets rescued from the hurricane arrived in Fort Wayne, they went to Pet Playground on Lima Road where they were nursed back to health and awaited their turn to be adopted out.

Lucy’s owner, Cindy, had fairly recently lost her beloved 13-year-old dog Mugz, an Australian shepherd, and wanted to donate a few of her pet items to Pet Playground to help those pets in need. Lucy’s owner did not intend to walk through Pet Playground to look at all of the transported animals; however, Cindy knew a veterinary technician working with the rescue group that was eager to show Cindy around the facility. Cindy could not believe the number of disheveled dogs awaiting their forever homes. As she walked through there was one cage where a dog was huddled in the back, scared and very sick, hiding from the ongoing commotion. The technician took the dog from the cage and placed her on a towel on Cindy’s lap. The dog’s heart was racing and she was trembling furiously. Cindy left the rescue with her husband for breakfast at Bob Evans, where Cindy became emotional just thinking about the little lost dog that she had seen huddled in her cage. She just knew she had to go back to see the little red-headed dog again. After breakfast Cindy and her husband went back to the rescue to look at the dog and the rest is history. The dog is now known as Lucy after another redhead, Lucille Ball, in the show “I Love Lucy.” Lucy was quickly adopted and brought to Dupont Veterinary Clinic to see Dr. Steve Harry who helped nurse Lucy back to health.

After Hurricane Katrina thousands of New Orleans’ cats and dogs were rescued and changed the status of pets in the eyes of the law forever. The nation flooded Congress with letters after watching numerous dogs and cats struggle in the wake of the tragedy of Katrina. In 2006 Congress was bitterly divided over war, immigration, and many other issues, but passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act with near unanimous support. This law requires rescue agencies to save pets as well as people during natural disasters. Before this law was passed rescue groups did not allow people to leave with their pets in tow. People fleeing a natural disaster were previously forced to leave their pets behind, which caused thousands of people to refuse to leave their homes. The public outcry that inspired the new law to be passed marked a turning point in our relationship with dogs and cats.

We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic are happy to hear about Lucy’s inspiring story and recognize that there are numerous other fortunate pets like her, thanks to the hard work of rescue groups that volunteered their time and efforts. Lucy and Cindy were truly fortunate to find one another and are yet another example of the amazing human- animal bond that cannot be broken.

 

Choosing a Pet Food – Where Do I Start?

Blog - Food - Golden in store

How Do I Choose The Best Food For My Pet?!

Walking into a store to choose a pet food for your dog or cat can at times be overwhelming because of the wide variety of brands and options. Feeding a high-quality, well-balanced diet is one of the best things that you as a pet owner can do for the health and well-being of your pet. The right food will help keep your pet’s coat shiny, strengthen their immune system, and keep his digestive system in good health. If your pet has any health concerns, please contact your veterinarian at Dupont Veterinary Clinic for advice on what diet would be most appropriate for your pet. We hope to help you sift through all of the brands and advertising to find the perfect food for your loved one.

What do I look for?

 Knowing what ingredients make up the best dog food is a key first step before selecting a diet. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has created guidelines for regulators to manage claims a pet food company can make on its label. Looking for the AAFCO label on a pet food brand certifies that the pet food has followed regulations and has to exceed certain expectations prior to being packaged and being put on a shelf. Ensuring that the food you are feeding is complete and balanced for a particular life stage, such as puppy, adult maintenance, or mature senior, is also important because this indicates that your pet is getting more of the ingredients vital for their stage of life.

 

Blog - Food - AAFCO

What’s in a name?

Under AAFCO guidelines, if a food is labeled to contain a single ingredient it must contain at least 95% of that ingredient, excluding water. If the food advertises a combination of ingredients, that combination has to make up at least 95% of that food. For example, if that food claims to include only chicken, then under AAFCO guidelines chicken must make up 95% of the food. Under AAFCO guidelines a food label containing the words dinner, platter, or entrée means that the food must contain 25% of the named ingredient. If the name states “with” a specific ingredient, such as “with rice,” only 3% of the named ingredient is required. In addition if a product is advertised to contain specific “flavors” the food only needs to contain a detectable amount of the ingredient.

 

Reading the food label

            Deciphering a pet food label can be almost as confusing as picking the appropriate food off of the shelf!  Look at the list of ingredients and keep in mind that the ingredients are listed by weight. Ingredients that contain a lot of moisture, such as beef, poultry, chicken, or fish, are more likely to be at the top of the list. Nutrients that are further down the list may be just as important; however, they may weigh less because the water has been removed for a dry pet food.

 

Blog - Food - Cat and food bowl

 

Is grain or gluten bad for my pet?

Unless your pet has been diagnosed with a food allergy, these ingredients do not need to be avoided. Grains are contained in numerous pet foods and are an excellent source of carbohydrates. Grains are easily digested and used as an energy source. Some pets are allergic to grains; however, allergies to meats (protein) are much more common than to grains. Gluten allergies in people are fairly common and is known as Celiac’s disease, fortunately, gluten allergies are very rare in dogs. There are a very select few Irish Setters or Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers that are sensitive to gluten, luckily these cases are very few and far between.

 

Blog - Food - Irish Setters

 

Ask your vet’s advice

We hope this article helps you to sift through all of the different brands of pet food and gives you a better understanding of what to look for in a food for your pet. If you are unsure of how to decipher a pet food label or if you are uncertain if a pet food is appropriate for your pet, call Dupont Veterinary Clinic at 260-637-7676 to speak with your veterinarian. We want to help you choose the best food possible for your pets so they can live a long, happy, and healthy life.

By Dr. Ashley Dawes

 

Patient Spotlight: "Ichi" – A War Veteran’s Best Companion

Service dog Ichi is shown after receiving his exam at Dupont Veterinary Clinic

 

Ichi (pronounced EE-Chee), which means “one” in Japanese, is a one-and-a-half-year-old Doberman that is in training to be a PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) service dog. His owner, Mike, served six years as a Sniper in the IFO, Iraqi Freedom Operation, after the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. Ichi is being trained to work by Mike’s side to help him through the day-to-day struggles that numerous war veterans go through when they suffer from PTSD. According to a 2008 RAND Corporation study, up to 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans experience PTSD or combat-related depression. In addition, roughly 30 percent of post-9/11 veterans treated at VA medical facilities have screened positive for PTSD.

Ichi is part of a growing group of service dogs, trained to interrupt and redirect panic attacks that PTSD veterans experience. If Mike experiences a nightmare, Ichi will wake him up and distract him to help get his mind off of the night terror and help him to fall back asleep. Ichi is always excited and happy to help Mike. As soon as Ichi puts his training harness on he is ready to work! While in his harness he keeps close to Mike and is ready to help in any way. Ichi has also been trained to respond to the command “guard,” in which he stands behind Mike to create a passive barrier between him and others. These are only a few examples of how Ichi helps Mike acclimate back to civilian life.

PTSD service dogs are trained to perform an array of tasks or commands depending on the needs of the owner. For instance, they can be trained to alert an owner that an individual is standing behind them, retrieve medication or a family member, or alert and redirect anger to prevent escalation. PTSD war veterans have also trained their service dogs to walk into a room before the owner to check for other individuals that might be present, which is often referred to as a “room sweep.” Service dogs have been shown to significantly decrease the need for medications, if not completely remove the need for medication to treat PTSD.

Ichi is still a service dog in training, but he has already greatly improved Mike’s day-to-day outlook. Mike and Ichi are an impressive pair when they work together! They hope to spread the word to other war veterans that might suffer from PTSD so they too may receive the benefit of a constant canine companion.

At DVC, we appreciate the sacrifice that people like Mike make for all of us.  And we appreciate the human-animal bond that enhances so many of our lives.  We’re sure you feel the same!

 

Ichi is a Doberman service dog being trained for an Iraq vet to help with PTSD

 

By Ashley Dawes, DVM

Keeping Cool – In A Fur Suit!

bulldog on ice    

When the sun starts shining and the air gets warmer we are all eager to take our activities outdoors. Often times this means taking our best friends and companions along with us. While fur coats are great for the winter time and subzero temperatures, they are not built for heat and humidity. Our pets keep cool by panting, which allows them to remove excess heat from their body and regulate their internal temperature. Dogs that already have compromised respiratory tracts, such as the “smooshed-nose” breeds (Pugs, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Boxers, etc.), or those with weak or collapsing airways (such as tracheal collapse or laryngeal paralysis) often have a harder time regulating their temperature. Senior pets are also ones that need to be looked after during the heat of the summer. While Buster may have been able to run around outside in the heat all day during his prime, he may not be able to during his golden years. Pets are also able to sweat through their paw pads; however, this is not a major source of cooling for them. Here are some tips for how to keep your pet cool this summer.

dog in fridge

 

If your pet is blessed with long flowing locks, it may be time to consider a summer haircut. Talk with your groomer about a summer shave down to remove excess fur that is trapping heat close to your pet’s body. Shorter haircuts are also great for dogs that love to swim, as there is less grooming that needs to be done after your pet’s long soak. (And less water to shake off after they climb out of the pool!) Allowing your dog to swim in pools or lakes is a great way to keep them cool; however, some dogs are not big fans of swimming. If your pet prefers to lounge at the side of the pool, pouring cool water along their back or between their paw pads helps to evaporate off some of the heat. Purchasing a cooling vest, such as the KONG Cooling Dog Coat, that is designed to keep dogs cool over extended periods of time may also be beneficial. While outdoors with your furry companion, especially our golden oldies, it is important to find shade for them. Dog houses do provide shade, but remember that it does stay hot inside. Senior pets often have a harder time regulating their temperature, so give them more time in the comforts of the air conditioning; after all, they deserve it!

 

pit with floaties

Keep their drinks cool by adding ice to their water bowel. This not only keeps your pet cooler but also hydrates them so they can regulate their temperature better. Collapsible dog water bowels are easy to travel with and can be found at any pet store. Giving your dog ice cubes to chew on can also be refreshing and a fun game. Making your own “pup-sicles” by freezing treats, veggies, or fruit in a small water-filled Tupperware container can also be an exciting summer time activity for your pet.

 

If you are planning an activity with your pets outdoors, try to schedule the activity during the early morning or later evening hours as these times are often much cooler. While traveling remember to pack plenty of water for you and your pet, bring a water dish for your pet to drink from, find shade, and try to plan activities during the cool times of the day. Here at Dupont Veterinary Clinic we hope you and your whole fur family have a safe and happy summer!

By Ashley Dawes, DVMlab underwater

No Sparklers for Sparky

sparlers-for-sparkie.001 The 4th of July is a time to prepare the barbecue and Oooh and Aaah at the “rockets’ red glare”. While this holiday may be one of our favorites, it can be a very dangerous or stressful time for our pets. It is important to consider how our pets may react during the 4th of July festivities, especially during the fireworks show. Our pets may be content around a lot of people and commotion, but it is common for pets to become stressed or anxious during really loud noises, such as thunderstorms or fireworks. We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic have a few tips for you and your ‘fur family’ so you can enjoy a safe and happy holiday.

During the fireworks show it is best to keep pets inside where it is quieter and they can feel safe. If your pet is crate trained, keeping them in their crate with or without a blanket lying over the top can help them feel more secure. Drowning out the outdoor noise with a T.V. or radio turned on while your pet is inside can also be soothing for them. If your pet becomes anxious during thunderstorms or fireworks it is best to not encourage their anxiety. For example, owners should remain calm and go about their day so the pet doesn’t feed off of the owner’s anxiety. Often times if the owner is anxious, the pet will become even more anxious as they sense that there is something to fear. During the 4th of July, numerous pets go missing each year. This is because they become anxious and try to flee, which is why keeping them indoors where they are safe is often best. Anti-anxiety medications can be very helpful to get anxious pets through this noisy holiday. Call or stop by Dupont Veterinary Clinic to speak with your veterinarian about whether or not adding anti-anxiety medications is right for your pet. Thundershirts are also helpful for pets during storms or fireworks as the snug-fitting jacket helps to swaddle and comfort your pet during times of stress. Thundershirts can be found at Dupont Veterinary Clinic, so bring Sparky by to find the right fit for him!

sparklers-for-sparkie-2.001Fireworks aren’t the only hazard for pets at this time of year. S’mores left out by the campfire or food near the barbeque can also be dangerous for your pet as they can lead to stomach irritation or obstruction of their intestinal tract. Toxic foods for pets include chocolate, grapes or raisins, avocados, onions, alcohol, macadamia nuts, and xylitol (a sugar-free sweetener found in gum, some candy, and some foods). Glow in the dark wrist bands or necklaces, while not toxic, can cause significant stomach or intestinal irritation if ingested by your pet. If you’re barbequing ribs or Buffalo wings this 4th, remember to keep the left over bones out of reach of your pets. These bones are often not digested and can cause serious stomach or intestinal blockage.

We hope these tips and tricks will help to keep you and your fur-kids safe and happy this 4th of July. Please fee free to call Dupont Veterinary Clinic at 637-7676 to speak with your veterinarian about what is best for you and your pets over this holiday. We are always here to help.